Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Must Hold On to Ball vs. Missouri

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 10, 2012

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy (42) fumbles the ball during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

There isn't a whole lot to suggest Missouri will come close to beating No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.

That is, expect for the fact that the Crimson Tide have fumbled the ball 10 times this season and the Tigers have forced 10 fumbles of their own.

There is no debating Alabama is the best team in the nation at this point, but the one glaring weakness it has had is holding on to the football.

Alabama's 10 fumbles so far marks a troubling trend. The Crimson Tide have actually been lucky to lose just three of those fumbles.

Missouri, while allowing 22.8 points per game this season, is tied for fifth in the nation in fumbles forced, per

Alabama's closest game (keyword: "closest") came against Ole Miss in Week 5, a 33-14 victory in which the Crimson Tide lost a fumble. While it was easy to ignore the turnover after the comfortable win, the fact of the matter is that you can't keep coughing up the ball and expect to win games. Don't think Nick Saban doesn't know this.

Perhaps Alabama coughs up the ball a few times on Saturday and Alabama can't get its running game going against Missouri, which has allowed only 2.89 yards per carry, tied for 11th in the nation.

While quarterback A.J. McCarron has practically been flawless so far, it's ignorant to believe he won't have at least one subpar game this season. What if that game comes against the Tigers?

The point is, fumbles aren't seen as a problem until they lose you a game and make no mistake about it, fumbles can lose games for you.

Alabama needs to be better about holding on to the pigskin, especially when games against ranked opponents Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M come around.


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